If you can’t put the benefits of exercise in a pill, perhaps one that makes us want to work out will do instead. Scientists have developed a hormone-based substance that could motivate us to train harder, potentially quashing the obesity epidemic and have us all fitting back into our jeans once more.
The research at the University of Zurich looked at the effect on a hormone called erythropoietin (Epo) on mice. It found that mice given this hormone were more likely to run faster and for longer than control mice.
“Here we show that Epo increases the motivation to exercise,” explained team researcher Max Gassmann. “Most probably, Epo has a general effect on a person’s mood and might be used in patients suffering from depression and related diseases,” he added.
"If you can't put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead," said Dr Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, where the study was published.
As the research is still at the rodent stage, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing such a pill for some time. But when it does arrive, it could improve the health prospects of the increasingly portly Western population, who often site being too tired or working too hard as an excuse for avoiding exercise.
Would you take it?